Power to the Pussy: Women Use Sex As A Weapon

Great decisions are made during pillow talk, so we are asking the two ladies at that intimate moment to ask their husbands: ‘Darling can you do something for Kenya?’ -Patricia Nyaundi, director of the Federation of Women Lawyers
Artwork of Lysistrata

We all know the characteristics of war. There is a lot of bloodshed, lives lost, and concoctions of different war tactics to defeat the enemy. War can last anywhere between a few days to a few months, even a few years. Many oppose it and go out into the streets to protest. We have seen some musicians performing at anti-war demonstrations or celebrities standing in front of a large platform asking the government to make peace. But ever heard of abstaining from sex to end war? It is present in ancient Greek literature, and not too long ago women turned sex into a way to protest war and civil turmoil. It definitely opens up new doors to women speaking up for a particular cause and making a change. Maybe mom was right; keeping our legs closed is a good thing.


We may have to thank Aristophanes for contributing to the idea of a no sex protest. He was an ancient Greek author, who wrote a play about Spartan women not giving up their goods until the Sparta versus Athens war was brought to an end. Lysistrata, the main character, devises a no sex plan and asks the women in the play to adhere to it. The plan is simple: if the women attract the men enough to make them absolutely deprived of sex, they will end the war. The women vow to get their men aroused only to disappoint them. Lysistrata encourages the women to fulfill men’s stereotype of them by maintaining their appearance. Women are to allure the men by looking well kept and beautiful. To ultimately have the upper-hand, the women agree to have sex again once a peace treaty is made. The men agree with little hesitation, and at one point are more concerned with having sex rather than the war they are fighting. It is a satirical play, poking fun at the men who could not and would not get laid. The tone of the play is clear and consists of dirty humor. Consider it a play discussing sex a majority of the time even though the characters aren’t actually having sex. It may have just been purely humor to Aristophanes, but he definitely was on to something.

No sex as a protest happened outside of literature, and was seen a few years ago. No influence from the play, there was a modern day group of women who, like the characters in Lysistrata, banned all sexual pairings as a means for peace. These women in Kenya kept their men on lock down back in 2009. Organization groups gathered in solidarity to protest over infighting plaguing the national government. The protest was aimed towards politicians, asking to avoid any civil unrest similar to what Kenya experienced in the 2007 elections. The no sex campaign sparked debate among the nation where publicly discussing sex is seen as taboo.

The women were so adamant about the protest, even offering to compensate sex workers for any lost wages during the sex ban. By paying the sex workers, women were eliminating any other outlets men may have used to get what they want. The men were now truly forced to listen to what the women were fighting for.

The protesters also had full support from Ida Odinga, the Prime Minister’s wife. She made a statement saying, “I support them, because I am a woman.” Kenyan men were not too pleased about the protest. A resident said, “We are being punished, and yet we are not the ones causing problems.” He told CNN he would plead with his wife for some kind of mutual agreement to continue having sex. Some believed seven days was too much of a sacrifice, while others said it was not severe and could wait longer. One even claimed he was capable of waiting an entire year. Restraining from sex benefitted the women, essentially creating media awareness about the issues Kenyans were facing. The women’s main target were the wives of politicians. They ultimately wanted the wives to become involved in the conversation about Kenya and push for change. Ida Odinga did not comment on her husband’s reaction to the no sex ban, but definitely felt the protest was doing more good than actual damage. The protest ended after a week with the Prime Minister and the President meeting in a prayer session. Both created a public agreement to discuss peace talks.

Currently, Kenya has called for another sex ban. A woman named Mishi Mboko has asked Kenyan women to refuse sex as an incentive to get the men to vote in the upcoming election. The demand for voting cards increased immensely, after Mboko believed a new political party could win against the current party governing Kenya. The first anti-sex protest must have taken a toll on Kenyan men if they practically ran to get a voting card.

Many other countries have partaken in a sex strike, ranging from Turkey to Canada. Some were not so successful in making a great amount of social change. However, the strikes gained media coverage which is good for raising awareness. One of the advocates stated, “Sex is known for being one of the most effective elements of [gaining] substantial attention to promote campaigns.”

So, how is no sex a tactic of war? First and foremost, it is a way to attack masculinity. No sex equals no reproduction. No reproduction equals no one to carry the family name. By enforcing abstinence, it essentially makes war arbitrary. Women are expected to refrain from any involvement in war or political matter, so why not grab the bull by the balls (just not until the goal is met)? Lastly, no offspring is a threat to the purpose of the military. Generally speaking, men are the ones who must fight and protect their land. So if women refuse to reproduce, a military cannot exist. War will now be meaningless without anyone “qualified” to fight. A sex ban reveals men’s vulnerability and reliance towards women. A no sex protest gives us the power to do good for the community and an opportunity to voice our opinion without men trying to put us in our place (whatever illusion they think that might be). Women are using what men believe is the only thing they have to offer to their advantage. We are more than just sexual objects put in this world to be submissive to men. We think for ourselves, educate ourselves in political affairs, and know how to manipulate men to do what we ask of them. If women take what is most important, strip them of their resources, and they then become submissive. It is smart, and it is sneaky. One can assume that men cannot control their lust for women, or for the most part, their lust for sex. It looks like men are weaker than what society tells us. Patricia Nyaundi couldn’t have said it better herself. The conversation during pillow talk is great and utilizing that intimate moment to ask your partner for something is perfect. If he agrees, you both get what you want. If he declines, you reject his want until he gives into your need. Next time a man refuses to listen, do not provide any sexual favors and see if he adheres to what you are asking for. Blue balls, anyone?